Thursday, August 31, 2006

right rein

lunge, two rein lunging, did it first time of asking, no argument, no not letting me round that side, just set off that way and there we were. she did have one moment of 'do i really want to do this' after the first half circle, but then just kept going. So that was the really good note to end on as well, so we only did 5 minutes, but it was a good 5 minutes

thinking about it, can her back be bad if she is working nicely on the ground? she may have done something to it (has to have the way she's been flinging herself about) but surely she wouldn't be moving well, which she is, if she had done anything too bad? ....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

and probably back problems

i'd been starting to wonder, as when I went to girth up she'd been moving away; that was definite tonight. and frankly, the way she's been throwing herself about, i'm not surprised. but it can't be that whatever she's done to her back caused the throwing herself about as

1. she threw herself about and caused any back problem, not the other way about
2. she woulnd't have gone out as far as she did on sunday with jimmy before starting to throw herself about

at least that is likely to be something covered by the insurance.

so loose schooling tonight and tomorrow, i think....

Liz, who was out with jimmy, is still of the view firmly that it is something physical and something in her head .... thinks my teacher should ride molly out (once she's been told the full horror of course!)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

night off

not that molly really deserved or needed one, but it was going to rain and i'd done far too much walking today for the good of my foot - had to drop car at garage and walk in, then back again ... ouch...

molly's insurer says that if whatever it is is physical, they'll pay the vet's bills for finding out; if it isn't (i.e., its something behavioural) they won't ...... ie. if the vet says it isn't physical i have to pay him myself. vets earn more than lawyers, and get paid....

Monday, August 28, 2006

two reins

lunging and long reining.

this is not something i've ever been taught, but been reading about it and bought a video on the subject saturday (it wasn't quite what i wanted, shame one can't watch these things before buying them) but showed something. Also, my teacher said she wouldn't teach me it as she has seen too many nasty accidents.

But others have had a lot of success with it, and several people have recommended it to try.

My thought was, it might be easier to long rein than lunge, especially since she won't go right rein for me (and that raises another issue ..... possibly .... for the vet).

I had thought about trying it when i first had her, but didn't do it then.

So today, I thought I'd try

I started off loose schooling just to make sure she was listening to me, which she was.

Then i attached the lunge reins (I already had a second) and that was a lot easier than trying to attach the side reins, especially to the right side.

She set off no problem at all on left rein, wasn't arguing with the bit; the o/s rein got caught in the middle of her mane which wasn't wonderfully helpful (I was just doing it with the rein over her back, rather than through the rings on the roller, as I didn't have anyone to help me set her away or anything) but went really nicely, and came back to walk when I asked, which is unheard of when lunging ordinarily!

wouldn't do right rein; but I WAS able to get behind her (at a safe distance, and slightly to the inside) and walk her on ahead of me right rein round the outside of the arena, which was really good until I got the offside rein too low. but she didn't panic, and I managed to disconnect it from the bit before she did, which was good as it did look as though it was going to wrap round a foot at one point.

Overall I was quite pleased; she worked if not really hard and we both learnt something.

The not letting me go to the right hand side of her - don't know if that might be a phsical issue or not. I can go that side in the stable no problem, lead from that side sometimes, just when asking her to lunge, yet ridden (when she was rideable!) she was better right rein than left.

Anyway, it occurred to me, maybe she had a head injury sometime that did something to her sight that is now starting to be a real issue.

But i don't know. loose schooling she'll go right , but of course one is not as close then as when lunging.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

? need the vet?

So Jimmy took Molly out today as suggested.

Firstly, he got on; she was fine, she walked through the yard, out along to the drive, up the side of the geldings field, didn't even look at the big log, a minor spook slightyfurther up = and I couldn't keep up after that. He went up to the top and back down; apparently she was backing off from coming back down, but nothing too horrendous. So he came back down to the yard, by which time the others were ready, turned round to go out and I sat down to wait.

When they came back after an hour she was dripping with sweat (had to have to washes off and I had to clean the bridle and martingale). but the real concern was the reports of her behaviour. She did some gates, not others. She had paddies, she didn't have paddies. but the worst bit was that at one gate she threw herself to the ground, literally, with Jimmy's leg under her .... happily he was ok, caught her, got back on - and she went through like a lamb. and the last gate, which doesn't have to be opened as it is always open, into the 20acre to come back to the yard, she's done it loads of times on her own and not, she had a major paddy before she would go through it, jogged and jigged all the way round, napped for no reason half way round it, that was the cause of the dripping sweat.

so the thought was either she's psychotic or she's got a tumour.....

She's never done anything like that before ......

So the plan is added to. as well as my teacher coming out next week, i'll check to see if petplan cover investigation for the possible physical causes of her behaviour ...

Saturday, August 26, 2006


came this morning. we've decided to put her on more regular visits than she was. and he's put his price up - he said, since barefoot trimmers are charging £30 a visit and wanting to come out every two weeks, he thought he'd go to £20 (but they don't actually need to be done as often as a barefoot trimmer would say!) and every 6. that's because of her odd left fore - which is larger and a slightly different shape from all the others. had she continued in work it wouldn't have been as obviouse as it it.

then i tried to lunge her. still can't find my lunge whip, i think it's been taken for a walk, and i think it has been taken by one of the fishermen as they were the only people about .... very annoying, i've had that a long time and will have to get a new one. I looked everywhere there was to look and it isn't to be seen - and it's not the sort of thing that fits in a cupboard! it was a very long one and no one has a big enough cupboard.

anyway, back to the lunging - really not good. i had to loose school first to get her settled, and then as usual she will lunge left but not right. the going in the arena is REALLY BAD for my foot - it gets so mounded etc its like being on really uneven ground and bythe time i'd finished - essentially given up! through frustration and being about to lose my temper big time - my foot was really hurting.

jimmy is going to ride her out in the morning; he's a good rider, will be able to stick on, has dealt with this type of thing before in his previous life as a jockey, and he's ridden her once before when she got really sticky on a hack once.

Friday, August 25, 2006

friday night

and i'm knackered; partner is still out at work and will be for some time (doing a mental health act assessment ....) and it's raining. shall go watch tv in a minute and see if there's enough bread left for toast, doubt it.

was telling one of the lads at the yard about events with molly, he hadn't heard, and he thought just hack her out in the string on friday/saturday morning. he may well be right. so i said if he wants to (he's ridden her before, ex jockey and a good rider!) then fine. He was amazed, bearing in mind how well she'd been doing previously. so we'll see about sunday morning. farrier tomorrow ...

and still couldn't see my lunging whip anywhere ....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

no lunge whip

now explain this.

I'm messing about tacking molly up - trying to see if i was going to be able to attach side reins to barefoot cheyenne, answer, not.

anyway, person who'd been having lesson in arena finished and came back and asked if that was my lunge whip propped up outside the arena. i said yes (left it tuesday; i'm hopeless at remembering to go back for that!).

so finished tacking up and everyone had gone by then .... walked molly round to arena - no lunge whip anywhere to be seen.

went back to barn - not there

back to arena - not there.

need lunge whip - especially with foot being buggered as i can't movemyself very well to get after her.

so untacked and turned her out again.

not happy.

where is it?

I'll probably find it tomorrow, but the mind boggles how it can vanish in such a short space of time!!!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

public transport

today i had to get the train/bus home. which merely reminds me why public transport only works if you live in a conurbation and work in the same conurbation. it took me 2 hours. walk to the station (which did'n't do my bad foot any good at all.) buy ticket (£8.30 single, I only had to come the one way - return would have been about £9 and still an awful ot more than the petrol for the car!). wait for train. train to darlington. wait 15 minutes for next train. train to durham, standing room only. get to durham. slow walk down very steep hill with poorly foot killing me to bus stop. catch bus (at least that was perfect timing, it arrived as i got to the bus stop!). bus home, £1.95 (return fare on the bus is about £2.40, this was single of course). and can't go to stable as no car. I had left word I woudlnt' be down. Molly didn't need a night off, she needed some more work.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

sligly better lunging

in that i had much less trouble getting the side reins on and she worked really nicely left rein. she was reaching for the contact (I'd deliberately decided on a relatively loose setting for the side reins, specifically with that purpose in mind.) and she was really tracking up a lot of the time.

but right rein? can't get there, and the way my foot is still hurting i am really limited. so I decided not to have the argument, and instead loose schooled right rein.

interestingly, where she was reaching for the contact on the lunge on the left, she wasn't even trying loose on the right. so i need the side reins tighter that way.

in the meantime, gaynor has written up her view. the only thing I would add is that we have had issues with that route in the past, as there is a huge log that she really doesn't like and with only a relatively narrow gap to get through. I woulnd't necessarily have chosen to take her that way having got her that far ...


Monday, August 21, 2006

back to lunging

for now.

and she was onthe point of going right rein, but due to my foot still not being recovered ( i think the break is still mending) I couldn't get after her quickly enough to get after her and lost it.

side reins on with the gp saddle; very loose, partly to get her back into it and partly because i want her to actively look for the contact. probably too loose.

various bits of advice from people, for which thanks

gaynor is going to add to what i've written to explain the bits when she was out of my sight. apparently that did include a full on rear; anyway we'll wait for that.

she did get her going forwards and the block was at the log, but it was apparently a full on rear. but it wasn't the rear that frightened her, it was the trying to run inot the hedge following by standing stock still with no indication of what was coming next....


as i said to a friend earlier though, so long as i can persuade people NOT to hit her over the head when she does rear....i still think molly needs as much cool calm and collected from the handler/rider as anything else...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

help please

first some back story.

those who have followed this story from its beginnings in 20six will have some idea of the issues i've had with Molly and the length of time it's taken to get where we were on the 29th June, when I fell off.

the bit of back story that is relevant (and that I know) is as follows:

Molly is the daughter of my mare Queen of Timber (by Golden Lahab, which makes her a Blushing Groom grandaughter). She was bred by a friend, who owned Queenie at the time. I bought Queenie when Molly's year younger brother was weaned.

Friend moved to lincolnshire with both horses, then next i heard Molly was up in Allendale with a mutual friend who used to run a riding school. Molly had originally been going to be backed by my trainer, but had an accident in the wagon when parked in teh yard waiting to be offloaded, so that didnt' happen. breeder backed her herself.

then in September 2005 I went to where the mutual friend worked (I didn't know she worked there till I walked in teh door ...she hadn't used to) and asked after Molly.

The story was that breeder had given Molly to her brother (the breeder's brother) who had put his child up (I forget how old the bairn was at the time, young teens I think); Molly had, apparently, reared (having been set off on a ten mile ride....). He was ready to shoot her, but instead passed her on to friend in allendale, who bred a nice foal.

Also, there had always been issues with the bit & bitting. Apparently, there had been a great deal of difficulty in getting her to accept a bit, several million jointed ones having been tried (exaggeration, but you get the idea).

by this time she'd had a couple or so years out of work, and was the mother of a then rising 2 filly. She needed to be moved on, and the friend who had her didn't know what to do - sell her where she wasn't known, which went against the grain a bit, or, to be blunt, have her shot, which would have been a bit of a waste...

I thought about it, having always liked molly who had been through a lot by way of injury (as well as the wagon accident, she'd got herself staked when she was 6 months old). The friend who had her had loads of experience with horses (used to run the riding school up there, knows her stuff) and thought she could be turned round. I took the opportunity, knowing molly was a project.

As you all know, we had done quite well. sorted out the bitting issues by way of 6 months bitless, hacking out in company, starting to hack out alone, getting to grip with gates, took the lead on hacks in fact, she likes her head in front even in walk (made a change from her mother, who was always dropped out the back!). She does "block" at things, but was getting a lot better about that as well.

In all this time she hadn't shown any sign of rearing with me or anyone else. She'd have an odd spin, and she did do the odd minor buck that didn't mean anything (raise the back end more than full on buck)

She is now.

She did last saturday when I ended up dumped in the car park (or at least tried, was prevented by Gaynor as she was on the lead rope at the time) and certainly did today. Mind we agreed later that we should have taken her to the arena before Gaynor got on (hindsight is a wonderful thing, god wot)

Partly, if this is the first time anyone has fallen off, it'll be loss of confidence. certainly that'll have been it last week, combined with being a bit hyper and me being stupid enought to think about getting back on without doing some lunging

but partly - and this is probably the bigger part - its realisation that she can get the rider off, especially after succeeding in doing so last saturday, even if she didn't intend to at the time, she did in fact manage it.

so i've talked about it with gaynor, and talked about it with the person who gave her to me (whose judgement I trust).

I'm going to do lots more lunging. I'll check her over for invisible injuries (back, bruising down the sides, whatever, she is being bullied in the field). I'm going to get my teacher out now (I was going to wait until my foot was fully better ....) and see if she can/thinks it worth reschool & if there is anyone who can ride her through it, and my goodness i've seen her sit to some interesting stuff, then we'll go for that route.

otherwise, the conclusion is probably that if she can't be made a safe ride again fairly rapidly, then put in her in foal and keep the foal.

There is no point in keeping trying with a horse that is dangerous.

Anyone got any advice? thoughts? methods of preventing rearing?

I could spend a fortune on Richard Maxwell or someone of that ilk, but wouldn't want to if I was going to be no farther forward.

The thing is, we rather think it might be something in her head. (her mind, rather than a tumour or whatever)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

rubber matting

my rubber matting arrived today; I don't know why people say it's heavy to move, this isn't, and supposed to be 20mm but in fact measured at 25mm, which is pretty d****** thick. Had to go get new blades for my stanley knife to trim it (you're supposed to leave expansion room, apparently as the horse uses it, it squashes down and spreads, which makes sense!) and in any event 12 X 12 wasn't totally exact, of course. Does anyone know of a building where the walls are in fact square?

Molly didn't object to it at all, christened it well and truly - a lot easier to get the poo up from it!!! - but the minute she went in the arena she had a wee. Of course, the one thing I should have asked john to put on the trailer as well was a bag of shaving s..... ah well.

and the 30 bales of haylage arrived (same delivery) and they are nicely stacked inside. I was right in thinking there was enough room. Should last me a while!!!

The plan had been that we'd try and ride her, but gaynor was of course late. I stood and did her mane whilst it rained, then decided to just loose school. My thought is, if I can really get her listening to me on that, then it should make lunging a lot easier as well.

Now explain this - she doesn't like lunging right rein, but finds loose schooling right rein easier than left, she didn't want to do left so I had to work on it a bit more than I anticipated.

I'm glad she never learnt to jump though ; the arena fence is very low, and if she could, I feel sure she would!!!!

Anyway, it was a positive bit of schooling and tomorrow I'll put the lunging kit back on and see how we do.

But it is hard on the foot! especially as one end of the arena is deeper than the other!

Friday, August 18, 2006


those who have been reading from the beginning, when i was still on 20six, will remember that Molly got kicked on the hock.

tonight when i went to see her - too wet to do anything! - there was a wound above the same hock.

it isn't a deep one, and there didn't seem to be any heat in it, but the wound situation is getting beyond a joke.

i feel as though I want to set up cctv all round the field and tape a day to see how it is happening = either one of the other mares is bullying her (which I think most likely) or there is something in the field she is catching herself on, and everyone is sure that that isn't it.

hopefully, it'll still look ok tomorrow; i DON'T want to spend any more money on the vet this year!!!! She seemed sound enough, which is good, and it hadn't bled, it's just surface, but a bad place.

in the meantime - my rubber matting and haylage is arriving at 1000 tomorrow morning, so i shall have to be down there early to sweep the stable out again and clear the space for the haylage.

I hope it'll last me - planning to keep Molly out as long as I can - in which case the haylage will have been a good investment.

and the rubber matting will save money on not having to buy so much shavings. will still have to have some, to soak up the wet, but not nearly as much

and her breathing should consequentially improve.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

fell over

me, not molly, of course, and landed on the foot that had been broken further damage done, i don't think ...but hurts a bit more than it did.

I found the roller girth - it ahd been there all the time, over the saddle. lunged left rein but she will NOT do right rein .... but I did get her going right rein without the lunge line, and kept her going for a while. she didn't quite give in like she did monday, but at least she did it.

and I fell over during th eprocess of trying to get round to the right hand side of her head to send her away on right rein ; i was struggling to get her to stand still.

i am not active enought to get in the right position, and there's not a lot i can do about that until the foot mends better than it has, and since i'm doing too much, that is going to take longer than it would otherwise have done ....
hey ho

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

poorly foot

mine, not molly's .... i think i've done a bit too much, so gave myself a night off tonight. molly looked ok, but i might have to sudocrem a spot on her front fetlock tomorrow.....

still haven't found the girth for the roller! but haven't really had the energy to hunt too hard!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

not join up

i'd actually intended to lunge properly tonight but had forgotten that the girth for the roller was at home somewhere having been washed. at least i hope it is!!!!! so lunged just from the bitless bridle and she wouldn't go right again so i decided loose school again. didn't work nearly as well tonight. partly i think she's realised i can't move wel, and partly because i couldn't move as well tonight as i could last night. probably doing too much!

Monday, August 14, 2006

join up..

tonight i decided to lunge - lunged left rein then decided to loose school for 5 - she did as i asked, trotted round, cantered, then i stopped and rolled as smoke and she came to me.

that was a good note to end on ...... especially after the hoo hah on saturday.

i think she was too hyper, i hadn't done any prep work and should have done, i should know better by now

also i should have gone back to the bitless.

so the plan is some lunging and free schooling, then lunge and ride with the bitless bridle, not hte bit, and see how we go.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

very wet

you know they say you get what you wish for. wish for rain get rain. can't complain too much since it means that the land isn't parched anymore (really brought it home to me how dry it was wednesday in durham and more to the point friday crossing the bridge in lancaster - you could see mud!!!! instead of river.

anyway, back to business. I thought it was going to stop raining, had in fact stopped when i got to the yard. Plan had been to lunge (hoping the left foot and right hip were up for it!) then possibly ride depending on how we got on. But Molly was wet; and whilst she was standing in with a view to her getting dry, I got soaked, the heavens having opened. So i turned her out again. hey ho.

The hat I was wearing yesterday has gone in the bin; I'd a feeling it might have to, and there was obvious damage to the surface. Couldn't tell whether the innards had in fact been damaged or not, but really not worth taking the risk with. The trouble with putting a hat in the bin when it seems ot be in one piece is that there's a risk that some idiot might decide it is ok and retrieve it. hope not. It wasn't as badly damaged as the last one I broke 15 years ago - that was so badly damaged my friend was able to pull it apart with his bare hands (he is 6'6" and built accordingly ...) and I am still missing 1/2 hour of my life. But it goes to show the importance of wearing a hat.

Back to work tomorrow after week off. not looking forward to that. an empty desk will have been filled....

Saturday, August 12, 2006

she had me off again

today i decided to ride to see how my ankle was. Gaynor helped - we had her on a lead rope as well as tacked up, the plan being to lead her round to the arena and then i'd do 10 minutes walk to see how i did. we didn't make it that far.

The arena gate was closed and Molly started backing up whilst gaynor was opening it. then as gaynor turned round to lead her forward, she started going backwards and up; gaynor pulling her down. she finished up, apparently, on her bum and then, gaynor says, on me before getting back up again. I didn't notice her on me but did notice i'd come off again, on the right side this time, banged my head (which happily seems ok) my right hip and ankle.

I don't think I've broken anything this time, but she's a cow for that, that mare.

she'd also hurt herself, was streaming blood from a very small nick on one leg, had managed to injur the back of a back foot, and a few other scratches - this is a gravelled area we were on.

So I guess we'll be back to lunging

was thinking about keeping her in because of the blood, but i haven't got any bedding; tried her in charlies' stable and she was going demented. so she got purple spray everywhere and turned out again.

This may be because with me coming off last time (not for anything she did) she's now worked out that it can be done. or it may be whatever it was that happened previously when she was said to have reared. this is the irst time she's shown a desire to rear with me.

of course, i hadn't had the martingale on. wish i had, might have kept her head down.

Friday, August 11, 2006

morecambe again

was persuaded to go to morecambe again last night - partner wanted to see friend to plan trip - had a nice run back over the tops through settle, up to grassington, down through pateley bridge; went to see my mate in yorkshire who'd been supposed to be at home wtih a gammy leg, she'd gone to work!!! (her mother driving, but still....) and back via the yard to see molly who was clearly sound. was knackered by that time though.

hopefully, i'll be able to get on her tomorrow, will try anyway if gaynor is going to be there and it isn't raining. hopefully also the rubber matting will arrive; was supposed to have arrived last monday but hadn't turned up from whereever it was coming from.....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


on my foot - there was - but then i did too much walking in durham today....

we are hoping i can get on molly on saturday. i do hope so. i'm fed up. she's probably fed up.

found some photos of her when she was six, must post them up - will have to scan them in first..

Saturday, August 05, 2006

small molly

you would think she had shrunk - not as in got thinner, but height wise. I stood her in her stable, there's a step down to it, and she looks tiny:

and suits the new headcollar, hope she doesn't break it!!

Friday, August 04, 2006


now on a week's holiday. the original plan had been to take molly down to my friends in yorkshire. of course that was always looking doubtful once i broke my foot, especially as my friend had knacked her leg at the same time. rang up today - friend went in to have injection in her knee and was taken into theatre instead. week cancelled! so we'll have away days from home, and go down to yorkshire one day at the back end of the week. and i might at some point during the week get on the mollyo and see how she's doing...and how my foot survives!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

sunshine after the rain

and i even put my jods on for the first time since the accident. not that i was planning on riding...i don't think the foot is yet up to the risk of being caught on the side of the stirrup.

went and got molly in - she was happily near the gate and came to me - and gave her a good grooming and found i still had some fly repellent whichi thought i'd run out of. so that was some good time together

then came home and had to do another hour's work..... duh.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

rain! hurray

i meant to post last night but lost track of time....

able to drive myself to work so that was good.

went to the yard afterwards, went out, got her in, groomed her, turned her out. but I rather think i did a bit more than I should have done!

She didn't want to tie up, of course, and i dind't want to put her in the stable as i wanted to have the space to move away in case - don't want to risk her standing on the broken foot!!! so the grooming was mostly done with the lead rope in my hand.

and of course I'd forgotten that the night she broke my foot, she also broke her headcollar! so until i get round to going to get one (I like the sort that do up over the nose as well as everywhere else, it's much easier when tacking up) i am using one i really don't like - bought becuase it looked flashy, for Queenie, but have never really liked it. hey ho, it's a headcollar and will do for now!

tonight, i couldn't face pottering right over the very far side of the field (which is quite large) but i could see that she was sound. and we were going to get drenched as well.

But nice to see some grass starting to green up again, even if we are all getting soaked as well. and it will mean it's back to mowing the lawn!